DeBord resigns as CMU football coach

Mike DeBord made official Wednesday what rumors have been stating for days: he resigned as CMU football head coach.

"It was the most difficult decision I've ever made," said the 47 year-old DeBord in a prepared statement. "I felt to finish the rebuilding process that we needed more resources and guaranteed time."

DeBord was 12-34 in three seasons in Mount Pleasant, and signed a three-year contract extension in 2002 after a late- season loss at Toledo.

The Chippewas will have to move quickly to replace DeBord. December is a key month for finalizing the 2004 incoming freshmen recruiting classes as recruits may contact CMU for information about the coaching vacancy.

Those inquiries will be handled in the present time by Director of Football Operations Plas Presnell, Athletics Director Herb Deromedi said Wednesday.

Deromedi would like to have a coach in place when the players return for next semester.

"That would be ideal, but the most important thing is that we have a quality individual to lead this program," he said.

CMU students resume classes after holiday break Jan. 14.

Deromedi said Prasnell and the rest of DeBord's staff may be back with the CMU program in 2004.

"The current assistant staff will have the opportunity to interview with the new head coach, whoever it may be," Deromedi said.

Deromedi expects to have potential recruits calling him for information on the coaching status of the CMU football team. He said he is making inquiries about coaches across the country to see if there is genuine interest.

"I have a stack of papers quite high on my desk right now," Deromedi said. "We are still making inquiries to see who a genuine candidate may be and finalizing our approach as we search for a new head coach."

A name that has surfaced and will continue to come up is Grand Valley State head coach Brian Kelly. Kelly's Lakers won their second consecutive Division II Championship Saturday with a 10-3 victory against North Dakota.

Another coach that CMU might pursue is Randy Awrey. Awrey led Saginaw Valley State to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference championship in 2003 in his 15th season as a football head coach.

Both coaches have head coaching experience, albeit at lower levels than CMU. That experience is something that DeBord lacked and struggled with in his time in Mount Pleasant.

The search for a new head coach is open, and Deromedi has only scratched off one name: legendary CMU football coach Roy Kramer.

"I talked to Roy and asked him in jest if he was coming back to us," Deromedi said. "He said 'no,' so that's one person we will not consider."

Kramer, known by some in college football circles as "The Godfather," coached the Chippewas from 1967-77 and retired as SEC Commissioner in 2002.

Stay tuned to for further updates throughout this ongoing situation.